Regional Flights from San Jose Airport to Dominical Costa Rica
For many of our clients, the typical itinerary for arriving in the Dominical region of Costa Rica includes flying into the Juan Santamaria International Airport near San Jose, picking up a rental vehicle and driving 3.5 hours south.
But for those looking to eliminate much of the drive from the country’s capital to the southern Pacific zone, there are small, commuter-style planes available seven days per week at an affordable cost.
The closest airport to Dominical is located in the town of Quepos, which is about a 30-minute drive north. Like many of the small airports scattered throughout Costa Rica, the Quepos Airport is basically a long, paved landing strip with an office on site.
The biggest selling points for taking a commuter plane from San Jose to Quepos, and vise-versa, is that you’ll eliminate the 3 hours of driving and you’ll get to see a large part of the country from high above. These flights are short – less than a half hour – but you’ll be able to view spectacular rivers, valleys, mountains and even the Pacific coastline as you approach Quepos. It’s like a tour onto itself!
There are two quality airlines that fly from San Jose to Quepos: Nature Air and SANSA. Nature Air and SANSA both offer websites in English, and their prices and travel policies are quite similar (expect to pay in the range of $70-$120 per person, per flight, depending on the time of year). We recommend booking Nature Air due to the simplicity of its website and ever-increasing travel options.
The Nature Air website can be accessed at http://www.natureair.com/.
SANSA is found at http://www.flysansa.com/en/home.
Keep in mind that when you’re traveling on a domestic plane, baggage limitations will be enforced. For example, Nature Air allows between 15 and 40 pounds of checked baggage per person. There are fees ranging from $7 to $60 for excess baggage weight, and regular luggage cannot be greater than 50 linear inches (127 centimeters).
SANSA caps its checked bags at 30 pounds, with customers being charged $1 per excess pound. Their luggage restriction is 45 linear inches (114 centimeters). Both airlines allow a single carry-on, such as a purse or backpack.
For those traveling with surfboards and other sporting equipment, each website goes into great detail regarding its regulations on particular items. Basically, surfboards that are less than 6 feet, 6 inches will be accepted on Nature Air for an additional fee of about $30-$50 as long as there is space in the luggage compartment. SANSA will not take surfboards greater than 6 feet, 6 inches, while Nature Air makes customers pay for extra seats for large surfboards, assuming extra seats are available on your flight. The bottom line when traveling with surfboards on domestic planes is that shortboards are generally okay and longboards are an expensive hassle.
It should be noted that these local airlines fly all over the country. So if you’re interested in doing a day at Arenal Volcano or Drake Bay, you can jump on a flight in Quepos and get there in no time, as opposed to a full day of driving. Rules change, too, so be sure to double-check any specifics regarding luggage and weights.
Regardless if you opt to take the highway from San Jose or fly into Quepos, we’re positive your experience at one of our villas will be the type of getaway you’ve always dreamed about. How you get here, now that’s up to you.